In this podcast, Gina talks with Shannon Beemer from Aion Recovery about their programs, including one specifically for first responders.
Gina Thorne: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Lakeview Podcast Series. I am pleased to be joined today by Shannon Beemer with Aion Recovery in South Florida. It looks like you’re located in Boynton Beach, Florida.
Shannon Beemer: Yes!
Gina: Well it’s nice to meet you.
Shannon: Thanks. Nice to meet you too!
Gina: Well before we get started in learning about Aion, can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into the field?
Shannon: Yeah! So how I ended up in South Florida is, I went to treatment in Colorado, and they told me I was either going to Arizona or Florida, so I decided to take the beach and I’ve been down there for almost three years now. I started out as a house manager after I had about nine months sober. I did a live-in house manager position for about nine months and then with that company I started to do marketing and I’m getting my bachelors right now in Human Services so I definitely want to stay in the field. I kind of view my outreach position as a way to help people without having a license yet.
Gina: A good way to give back.
Gina: So tell us a little bit about Aion and what they do.
Shannon: Ok, so at Aion we’ve got three programs. Right now we’ve got Station House, which is our First Responders program, so it’s fire fighters, police officers, EMS, and it’s its own program so they’re housed by themselves, they have groups with themselves. It’s completely separate from our other programs. We decided to do it that way because something that you or I would experience that’s traumatic, they experience on a daily basis, so we thought it was best to have a program for them specifically. That is a 30-45 day program and we discharge them back home. A lot of our clients in that program have families at home and jobs to go back to, so we’ll discharge them home with an aftercare plan.
Gina: So is there a strong PTSD component for the first responders? I would imagine there would be.
Shannon: Yes. We have two trauma therapists and one of them is our program manager. Also, the other trauma therapist, she can see the men in our Invictus Retreat program. So we can take care of trauma both ways, too.
Shannon: So our Invictus Retreat program is all men. It’s a PHP IOP program and we’ve got housing for them. It’s based on a peer support network, so we want them to feel comfortable walking into group and even the first time they meet us. We just try to relate to the client and make them feel comfortable. And like I said, they can also see one of our trauma therapists as well; she’s certified in EMDR.
We like to go do fun things on the weekends with both of those programs. We go to the beach, the movies; they’re expected to go to meetings.
We also have a new program that is going to be starting August 1st, it is called Open Out. It’s going to be an LGBT program. We are starting out with an IOP for that program first and pulling people from the community, from other sober housing or halfway housing.
Gina: That’s great, very exciting! It sounds like you guys are moving along very nicely. How long have you guys been around?
Shannon: We had our license in March of 2014 and we really brought in all of the clinical team and everything that was necessary before we took our first client, so we started taking clients in November of 2014.
Gina: So a lot of on-boarding with your staff and getting people organized.
Shannon: Yeah, we wanted to be ready before a problem arose.
Gina: Sure, absolutely. So if someone wanted to get in touch with Aion to look at services, how would they get in touch with you?
Shannon: Well, my cell phone number is 561-702-4254 and they can always check out our website and it’s www.AionRecovery.com.
Gina: Wonderful! Well it was really nice talking with you Shannon, thank you so much. For those of you that are interested in learning more about Lakeview, we invite you to visit us online at LakeviewHealth.com, or if you need to reach out to us for residential treatment, you can call us at 866-460-8416.
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